LAS VEGAS Field Trip

They thought they were going to The Sphere. Or maybe Meow Wolf. Someone said they were bailing if they were expected to drop from The Stratosphere that night. And one person thought we were taking our team to a strip club. (You know who you are.) No one had any idea where we were really going on our “corporate discovery outing.”

Where did we take the Brand Fuelians?

The new Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas. But why there?

Punk rock has been a part of Brand Fuel’s spirit even before the words “Brand” and “Fuel” were adjoined 26 years ago. Legend has it that Brand Fuel’s founders, Robert Fiveash and Danny Rosin, turned their friendship up to 11 in the early 80s when they realized they had an affinity for bands like The Clash, The Ramones, The Bad Brains, Black Flag, Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedys. They would use their older brother’s IDs to sneak their 16-year-old selves into The Boathouse, Friar Tuck’s and Kings Head Inn. None of those venues exist today, but deep-seated mosh pit memories linger. So much so that Robert and Danny titled their weekly get togethers “Mosh Pit Meetings.”

Clash Lyrics With Clash Fans in Betwixt

Robert and Danny – and by deep association, Brand Fuel – align with punk rock for good reason.

With its raw energy and rebellious nature, punk rock would not only influence, cultural values, fashion, art and design, DIY culture, cool t-shirts and merchandise, and activism – it would also influence a friendship between Robert and Danny that has lasted 40+ years.

That’s why we took our staff to the Punk Rock Museum.

We wanted our team to understand, really understand, why punk rock is not just a lonely Dr. Marten boot lying on the fringes of slam dancers in a small venue with black walls, sweat flying and ears ringing. Punk rock is not just a music genre. It is an attitude.

“I want to punch stuff and do cartwheels and f*cking yell, but that’s not good all of the time.” – Amyl & The Sniffers

Anarchy in Las Vegas: A Visit to The Punk Rock Museum

From the minute we walked in, it was clear we were bypassing numbing consumerism and oft-soulless corporate tedium. This place is not your grandma’s stuffy museum (unless your grandma was a leather-clad riot grrrl who crowdsurfed at CBGB). No, this subterranean den of dissident culture is a full-immersion experience.

From the graffiti-splattered entrance to the Ice Pick Rick concert posters, we were drowning in an intoxicating tidal wave of anti-establishment sentimentality. The exhibits scream in the face of polite society, daring you to slam dance your way through the chaotic history of punk’s combustible beginnings.
We witnessed the actual vomit-encrusted pair of jeans Sid Vicious hurled on. We admired the jagged shreds of Poly Styrene’s Day-Glo dress, ripped to tatters by rabid fans. Even Johnny Rotten’s awkward teenage diaries are on display, reminding us that even the brashest voices started as angsty little whispers.

The Highlights

And we were lucky. Because Bax Baxter was our incredibly knowledgeable and irreverent tour guide. Ask for Bax if you take a tour!

We recklessly drank double rum and Cokes (aka “The Fletcher”) served in emptied Pringles cans with Pringles on the side.

And then there was Joe Strummer’s last bag of weed, a stash found with the co-founder of the Clash when he died in 2002. Couldn’t help but wonder what it might be like to smoke that together while honoring all Joe gave to this world.

Jam Sesh

David Shultz’s belts out The Ramones’ anthem, “Hey Ho! Let’s Go!”
Jason Nokes pays tribute to The Clash’s “Should I Stay?”

The Museum champions the idea that anyone can pick up a guitar, bash some drums, or scream into a mic and be heard. Our good friends and co-inspirators, Dave Shultz of Commonsku and Jason Nokes of PromoPulse, did just that in The Jam Room. It was like walking into a living, breathing, occasionally spitting history lesson that refuses to sit quietly in the back of the class.


Fuelians Consume the Moment Away from the Tradeshow Floor

The Jam Room where you can test drive instruments from Punk Rockers.

The Takeaway

Punk Rock Stitched Its Way into the Fabric of Society

Punk introduced the world to DIY (Do It Yourself) before it was a cute hashtag. DIY was about customizing your look with whatever you could find. Safety pins became accessories, band tees became haute couture, and suddenly, looking like you just lost a fight with a sewing machine was the look. The Punk Rock Museum showcases this sartorial anarchy, proving that punk fashion is not just clothing; its armor. 

Merchandise: More Than Just Cool T-Shirts

Sure, the punk scene has birthed some of the coolest T-shirts in human history. But the merchandise also tells a story of a culture that mastered the art of branding before it was a marketing buzzword. Patches, pins, zines, and records – each piece is a tangible slice of rebellion. The museum offers a treasure trove of these artifacts, each with a backstory more fascinating than the last.

There is something extremely rich about rebellious, stand-for-something, oft-weird and offensive Punk Rock Merch.

Mass Market Mutiny

Punk’s greatest paradox is how thoroughly marinated it’s become in mass-market culture. While some lament punk’s demise, where it has become a mass-marketed lifestyle brand, there seems to always be a furious new crop of kids using their voices (and footwear) into the gale-force winds of protest. The dissenting spirit of punk pounds on, unbowed.

Why Punk Rock Still Matters

Visiting The Punk Rock Museum is more than a trip down a musically charged memory lane. It’s a reminder that punk rock has left an indelible mark on our culture. It championed the idea of questioning authority, celebrating differences, and the power of community. In today’s polished, auto-tuned world, punk’s raw energy and authenticity resonate more than ever.

So, whether you’re a punk aficionado or a curious bystander, The Punk Rock Museum reminds us to live a little louder, dress a little bolder and stand a little taller, reminding us to be ourselves and let the world adjust. 
We hope our clients have a willingness to use their bold brands and marketing plans to take a page from the punk rock playbook. And we pledge to challenge them to do so. To zig when others zag.

The Punk Rock Museum is a sweaty, snarling reminder to us that brands as well as individuals should never take society’s spoon-fed “standard practices” as the only course on the menu. Challenge the status quo, question every rule, and leap into the pulsing mosh pit of a life lived on your own furiously authentic terms. That’s how individuals and brands will stand out. 

Legendary Brand Fuel Road Trip.

Other great articles about The Punk Rock Museum:

https://ultimateclassicrock.com/punk-rock-museum-las-vegas/
https://www.grammy.com/news/inside-punk-rock-museum-las-vegas-history-photos-tour
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/28/magazine/punk-museum-las-vegas.html
https://www.pastemagazine.com/travel/punk-rock-museum/inside-the-punk-rock-museum-in-las-vegas